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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Lubbock, Texas: On Saturday, February 18, I had the honor of appearing on the panel discussion The View from Brokeback Mountain, here in Lubbock, at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts. Two groups sponsored the event. One of those groups, the Lubbock Film Society, fosters local filmmaking and local interest in low budget or independent movies. The other group, Lubbock Interfaith Fellowship for Equality, works to promote inclusion and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Though I originally guessed at well over a hundred, at least 90-100 people attended the event. Scheduled to last an hour, it went over two hours, and could have gone even longer.

I had already seen and loved the movie. To prepare for the panel, I read the book Brokeback Mountain: Story to Screenplay and explored the discussion boards at AnnieProulx.Com, EnnisJack.Com, DaveCullen.Com, Yahoo! Groups: brokeback-mountain, and Yahoo! Groups: Gay Cinema.

As with those online discussions, the panel featured a variety of views on the movie and its themes. The same continued when moderator Grace Rogers opened the discussion to the audience. While much disagreement occurred, no one disagreed with the importance of Brokeback Mountain and its themes. More importantly, I never heard anyone make a single homophobic remark! It was an engaging discussion, but still left much to say, and left many eager for more such events.

I appreciate Grace, the other panelists, and the two groups for letting me take part, and all those other people who came out to discuss this thought-provoking film. To read more about gay-related events in Lubbock, please read my Rainbow: Lubbock online newsletter.


Duane Simolke author of The Acorn Stories, Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure, Holding Me Together, and New Readings of Winesburg, Ohio